In my ever-growing bucket list (see no 76) there are several destinations that I truly want to visit in this lifetime and one of them is Turkey.
I have seen some spectacular scenes in movies such as Skyfall, The Accidental Tourist among others) and read detailed descriptions (even cried tears of laughter) in Lisa Egle’s hilarious travel memoir Magic Carpet Seduction.
It makes me wonder why I haven’t been there yet! Fortunately their national airline has just started flying out of my city, so who knows, it might be sooner than I think.
In preparation for that day, I’ve done some research and made a list of the
Top cities I would like to visit in Turkey.
Rainbow over Istanbul. Photo Credit: christheisen
This European Capital of Culture draws millions of visitors yearly for many good reasons. Not only it is strategically located between two continents, it also oozes mystery, is so rich in history and clearly a delight for the senses.
I would personally go wander around the city and try not to use a map. I want to be guided by my own GPS, find the Blue Mosque, enter the Grand Bazaar, go on a ferry on the Bosphorus and take the beauty all in.
Traditional bakery and café. Photo Credit: christheisen
If I feel tired, I sure will not have a problem going to a café, sit down and enjoy the moment. I’ve been told you the city can cast a spell on you and quite frankly, I won’t mind.
The Capital of Turkey is the second largest city and also the political center. So much of the country’s history was decided there.
View of Ankara from Dikmen Vadisi Park. Photo Credit: Jorge Franganito
Today it is a busy metropolis where tradition meets modernity. There are many attractions and remnants of the past such as the Roman Ruins, the Anit Kabir which was built in honor of the founder, Atatürk, who helped shaped the great nation.
Castle walls. Photo Credit: peace01234
I am an archeology and history fan as well as a museum lover, so there is plenty to choose from! One can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Located on the Turkish Riviera, Antalya has everything you need for the perfect holiday on the Mediterranean.
Kemer Marina. Photo Credit: hannatour04
Sun, sand, hotels, restaurants, fun, nightlife? Yes to all.
If those aren’t enough good reasons, I can go back in time by walking the cobble-stone streets of the old town known as Kaleici, passing through Hadrian Gate, and stand before Hidirlik Tower or perhaps be mesmerized by Düden Fall.
Sunset in Antalya. Photo Credit: 564907
or simply relax, unwind and recharge batteries under the Turkish sun. Oh yes!
They say that life is better at the beach and Izmir is no exception. Facing the Gulf of Izmir, it is another spectacular city.
Aerial view of Izmir. Photo Credit: 31774
Moreover there are plenty of festivals, sport events as well as main sights such as külltürpark, Konak Meydani and go for a stroll on The Kordon.
View of the city from Kadifekale. Photo Credit: 31774
This town in the rocky and mountainous region in Central Turkey is almost taken out of a fairytale.
The rock formations, called fairy chimneys, are the main attraction.
Uchisar, Cappadocia. Photo Credit: Mario555
Underground cities, houses, churches, monasteries, restaurants and even hotels were built by cutting and carving the rocks.
There is one thing in particular that I really want to do and that is to go on a hot air balloon ride at sunrise and admire the entire splendor of the area from the air. Now that would be one of my ultimate dreams come true.
Aerial view from a hot air balloon. Photo Credit: Cattalin
As you can see there is so much to see and do in Turkey that I am sure that it will require more than a week and a few return trips to truly appreciate all that it has to offer.
Now it’s your turn!
Have you ever been to Turkey?
If you have, where did you go and what did you like best?
If you haven’t, which one of the cities mentioned above would you like to visit?
Tell me all about it in the comments.
Until next time!
Happy travels, mutlu seyahatler
All the best.